Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton revealed on Wednesday that she urged Mike Pompeo to retain career officials to handle global crises if he was confirmed. Pompeo is President Trump’s choice to lead the State Department.
Clinton served as Secretary of State from 2009-2013 under former President Obama. She said during an event in Michigan that she “warned” Pompeo against a “purge” of experienced administration officials when he called her recently.
“I told him that I thought he should take a hard look at retaining career diplomats who could advise him. Because you never know what might happen. You never know where the next hot spot or crisis will happen,” Clinton said.
The former First Lady and Secretary of State said she was “deeply concerned” over the mass exodus of “some of the most qualified foreign service officers” over the past year and a half because of purging done by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
Currently, Pompeo is the director of the CIA, but Trump has nominated him to lead the State Department in the wake of a major reshuffling of senior advisers and Cabinet officials in the last month.
If Pompeo is confirmed by the Senate, he would enter a State Department that has seen department-wide restructuring by Tillerson and a call for deep budget cuts.
The department’s whole senior administrative team resigned when Trump took office and Tillerson only led the Department for a little more than a year.
Clinton said Wednesday she was “happy” to speak with Pompeo, even though he had once grilled her before a House committee hearing over the 2012 Benghazi attacks.
The Senate will begin confirmation hearings for Pompeo on Thursday.
Credit: The Hill